Turquoise & Teal

Turquoise is both a gemstone and a colour, with the latter named after the former. As a colour, it is a mixture of blue and green and to my eyes has always veered more towards blue. In fact, I’ve just now looked it up and according to the internet turquoise is 70% blue and 30% green. Teal is a colour named after a bird, which is also a mix of blue and green, and to my eyes it skews green. I love all colours, but if forced to choose a favourite I would definitely choose something in the turquoise/teal range. Interestingly, I’ve just read the symbology of turquoise and in some parts it reads like a description of my personality, although I suppose one could read such a thing into any colour’s meaning, the same way we all manage to find ourselves perfectly described by our horoscopes.


But why, you might ask, in my Colour Theory colour wheel am I introducing an entire colour board for an in-between colour? Is it simply because this shade is my fave? No, in truth, it’s all because of this dress.


I see this dress as green. It’s not even ambiguously teal to me. It’s straight up green. But everyone else who’s ever noted the dress has called it blue, and this has always thrown me for a loop. Yes, I suppose it technically falls into the turquoise spectrum but come on, it’s really more green than blue, isn’t it? To take this picture I stood in front of a wall that to my eyes is definitively in the blue range of turquoise, but once the green dress and the blue wall are right next to each other, they appear pretty much the same. Forced to confront the subjectivity of colour perception, I’ve decided turquoise/teal deserve separate representation from both blue and green.


As I carried on with my colour board photo shoots, I took great care to separate out the turquoise items in my home from the blue, but of course, colour is a spectrum, and I found several things that could skew either way. Do you agree with my choices? Is everything in this board truly turquoise, or do you see anything here as blue, or even perhaps, as green? And what of the dress above? What colour is it, to your eyes?


Usually the paintings depicted in Colour Theory are my own, but quick shout out to my friend Caroline Ostiguy, who painted the painting above (the pic to the left is a closeup of a larger piece).